Snack Time + Menu

So I am blindly hoping that maybe I inspired you to start tracking your macros last week. In hopes that you have tracked for a week and now know how many calories you are really taking in, it is time to make some changes. If you honestly tracked for a week, you should be able to see where your weaknesses are. Maybe you are overeating at a certain time (hello afternoon snacks), you could be undereating, a certain macronutrient could be causing your issues, etc.

You can’t analyze these issues if you aren’t 100% honestly tracking your intake. For instance, I eat mints like a crazy person. I love Life Saver mints. Those mints have calories and carbohydrates…ugh, why?! (Why do mints need to have carbohydrates and calories?!) Even the small things add up. Each mint has 3 grams of carbohydrates. No big deal. Until I eat 10-15 of them. I am telling you I eat these things TOO much. It is kind of annoying really. I waste 30 to 45 grams of my carbohydrates on mints.

Such a W A S T E.

How many small things are you wasting your calories on or maybe neglect to even think about? The scale isn’t going to change if you are wasting your calories and macronutrients on something that has zero micro-nutrients. We want to make sure that we are counting our macros, but that our macros also count toward our health goals as well. You can count calories and eat McDonald’s every day, but you will more than likely be hungry. You likely won’t feel satisfied for very long and will overeat by the end of the day.

Your quality of food does matter. Calories in vs. calories out is the number one rule, then your macros are what you need to focus on. If you are wanting to hit your macro goals, you are going to have to cut out a lot of the junk. Junk, including alcohol has a lot of empty calories. If you are drinking a few glasses of wine every night, you will hit your calories quickly. You won’t necessarily hit your macro goal though.

Alcohol is tracked differently than bread, apples, chicken, etc. Alcohol has empty calories that are not attached to a specific macro-nutrient. It is “widely” debated on how to track alcohol, well at least Josh and I disagree on how it should be tracked. To make it simple, if you keep track of your calories and stop eating/drinking once you reach your limit, you should have met your macro goals. If you didn’t meet those macro goals but did meet your calories, you ate foods that contained empty calories.

This is why it is important to track your caloric intake 100% for a week before setting any goals. I feel as though it is unhealthy to set an unrealistic goal or a goal that is drastically different from what you are currently eating. Making large, drastic changes to your macros and calories will most likely result in failure to reach your goal. Instead, making small changes every couple of weeks will lead to a higher rate of success. Good luck! Don’t hesitate to reach out for help, the macros can be very confusing and knowing where to start is always the hardest part.


New Food Review

Nothing new to report on this week. I did decide to make the pork tacos into a pork bowl. I feel like I always plan on tacos, but end up added rice to get in the carbohydrates. So good! Normally, I just use a store-bought salsa verde with sauteed peppers and onions. This time I used a salsa from a previous recipe, added green onions, squeeze of lime, jasmine rice, and cilantro. SO GOOD!


M E N U

Cajun Butter Steak + Peppers + Rice

Chicken Salad Wrap

Chicken Farfalle Pasta + Cream Sauce

Spaghetti

Sweet Potato Turmeric Healing Bowl + Pork Loin


Cajun Butter Steak + Peppers + Rice

Josh and I both had this dish in mind for this week, so that must mean it will be a winner. The ingredients list doesn’t seem too difficult either. Since I have never cooked this, I will do a review of it next week. I am going to add jasmine rice to the dish to round it out in the macros.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients: 
1 1/2 pounds beef tenderloin or flank steak, cut into 1 inch cubes
* sirloin steak
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, plus additional thyme for serving
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, more or less to taste
kosher salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
* spray olive oil
3 bell peppers, sliced
* 2 green, 1 red, 1 yellow
4 tablespoons salted butter
* 2 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
juice from 1 lemon
3 cups steamed rice, for serving
1 avocado, sliced
fresh herbs such as basil, cilantro, and or mint

Chicken Salad Wrap

This chicken salad is not like your local chicken salad sandwich with mayo, pecans, and grapes. Honestly, it is boring and very healthy. You MUST season the mayonnaise heavily and the meat. I always add some hot sauce to the wrap as well, a little drizzle of sriracha once I have it wrapped up makes it so much better.

I typically boil the chicken breasts, just because it is easier when meal prepping. If you aren’t worried about macros or meal prepping, a whole rotisserie chicken would be much easier. Since my chicken is pretty bland from boiling I have to season it a lot more than if I was using a rotisserie chicken.

I love that this meal doesn’t have any actual mayo. You make your own with one egg, lemon juice, and dijon mustard. I don’t use any oil in this mayo and it makes it extra lean and cut friendly. The last time I made this I had 26.4 ounces of cooked chicken breast. It made 6 servings, each at 132 calories, 26.7 grams of protein, 0.3 grams of carbohydrates, and 2.7 grams of fat, without a tortilla.

If you are cutting out carbohydrates, you can skip the tortilla all together and just eat it with a fork. I have done this when I was in a district meeting that happened to be during my lunch time. I didn’t think anyone would want to see me chewing on a wrap so I just ate it with my fork and skipped the tortilla.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients:  
1 whole roasted chicken or 2 pounds of chicken
* chicken breast
½ cup finely chopped celery
Juice from 1 lemon (about 2-3 Tablespoons)
* 2 lemons
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Creole Seasoning
* chili powder, cayene, salt, pepper, oregano, thyme
1 large egg, at room temperature (very important to be at room temperature)
2 teaspoons lemon juice, at room temperature
* 1-2 lemons juiced
1 cup light olive oil
* omit oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard, optional
* 2-4 tablespoons or to taste

Chicken Farfalle Pasta + Cream Sauce

I have to say this is the dish I am looking forward to eating the most! I have linked two different recipes that I am going to combine to make something different. Both recipes use spinach and have a cream sauce. I fell IN LOVE with the cream sauce from Half Baked Harvest and Josh did too. Josh immediately thought of all the ways we could use it.

This is the first recipe I am going to change up and add it to. I am going to leave out the mushrooms from the farfalle pasta recipe, because mushrooms have a very distinct taste and texture and I don’t want to change the sauce at all. The only thing I am really going to change to the cream sauce recipe is adding in the pasta and using chicken instead of salmon.

Both recipes are linked in case you want to give them both a try and see which you prefer. I know I am going to love combining these two. The last time I made this sauce it thickened up a lot once I put it in the refrigerator. Once I heated it back up, it thinned out. I am telling you this, because I could have made more servings had I thought of this before. I made the recipe for 4 servings and it could have really made 6 easily and covered the food well.

Per serving the cream sauce was 149 calories, 8.1 grams of protein, 3.3 grams of carbohydrates, and 11.6 grams of fat. I did make several changes to the cream sauce, but I swear it is still delicious!

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients: 
Farfalle Pasta-
16 ounces uncooked whole wheat farfalle pasta
Garlic Butter Cream Sauce:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
* omit oil
2 tablespoons salted butter
* 1 tablespoon
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup canned full-fat coconut milk, or heavy cream
* 3/4 cup light coconut milk
* 1/4 cup whole milk
2 ounces cream cheese, cubed
*56 grams 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
* 61 grams
4 cups fresh baby spinach
juice from 1 lemon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives, plus more for serving

Spaghetti

Since I am having a heavy pasta dish this week, I need something to counterbalance that. Using spaghetti squash is a great way to still get the pasta feel, without the actual pasta. Some people use spiralized zucchini, but I love spaghetti squash. It does take me about 3 good sized squashes to get 4-5 cups of “noodles”.

The spaghetti sauce I use is adapted from a bolognese lasagna sauce. It is a thicker sauce, with lots of meat and vegetables. I love it. I just made a lasagna for my brother-in-law and sister-in-law to celebrate the birth of their little girl Rose. Nothing is better than having someone bring you a home cooked meal when you are in such a precious stage of life. It is just one less thing to worry about so you can focus on the baby. Since I didn’t make an extra lasagna for us, I am going to make spaghetti this week instead. Same sauce, just in a healthier form.

To make the sauce, dice the onion and bell pepper, and saute’ with the minced garlic until soft. Add the mushrooms to the pan (mushrooms are not in the lasagna). Once the mushrooms have cooked down, drain any excess water. Add the vegetables to a large pot, along with the canned tomatoes. Once the meat has cooked thoroughly, drain and add to the tomatoes and vegetables.

Stir in the milk and wine, if you are going to put those in. Let the spaghetti simmer on low. Add the tomato paste to thicken the sauce if needed. The amount of tomato paste you add depends on how thick you want your sauce to be. I use to add the whole milk and wine but have recently opted out of putting it in. It is delicious with or without the wine and milk.

I like to add dried oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, parsley, and any other Italian herbs I have on hand.

Ingredients:  
4 cans Fire Roasted Tomatoes
1 can Tomato Paste (about 1 cup)
3 cloves Garlic
1 Yellow Bell Pepper (diced)
1 Onion (diced)
8 ounces Mushrooms (diced)
2-4 pounds 80/20 cooked and drained (depending on amount of people serving, I use 3.5 pounds typically and always have leftovers for the kids)
8 ounces Whole Milk (optional)
4 ounces Red Wine (optional)
Italian Herbs

Sweet Potato Turmeric Healing Bowl + Pork Loin

This bowl is intended to be meatless, but needing to meet my protein intake we will be adding meat. I have put meat in this bowl before and it was great. I was very hesitant to do so, but I was not disappointed. This bowl has such a great flavor with the sweet potatoes, turmeric, and honey-lemon dressing. This is the best way to eat sweet potatoes, hands down. I prefer to have my sweet potatoes plain, so that is a big statement for me.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients: 
2 large sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
a swish of olive oil
1–2 teaspoons turmeric
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups vegetable broth
lemon herb dressing:
1/4 cup lemon juice
* 1-2 lemons
1/3 cup olive oil
* omit
1 small clove garlic
2 teaspoons agave
* 1 ounce of honey
1/4 cup parsley leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
healing bowls:
poached or scrambled eggs
* pork loin
brown rice or quinoa
arugula or spinach or greens
* spinach
pistachios or other nuts for topping

E N J O Y !

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